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‘Today Show’: Purebred Breeding Is ‘Animal Cruelty’

Written by PETA | December 10, 2009

In preparation for tonight’s American premiere of the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, this morning’s Today Show featured a segment on the horrors behind the rampant breeding of purebreds.


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Sylvia, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, suffers from syringomyelia—a condition in which the dog’s brain is too big for the skull, resulting in a nonstop, crippling headache that’s been deemed by humans who endure it the worst kind of pain imaginable. And she’s not alone—after years of inbreeding, at least one-third of all King Charles spaniels suffer from syringomyelia and other incurable genetic deformities, a common problem among purebred dogs.

Breeders around the globe are guilty of spreading these deadly defects, contributing to what Dr. James Serpell, associate professor of humane ethics and animal welfare at the University of Pennsylvania, deems “institutionalized animal cruelty,” and they—along with the individuals who continue to buy purebred companion animals instead of adopting from animal shelters—are at fault for the animal overpopulation crisis and the deaths of millions of homeless animals each year.

Don’t miss the sure-to-be-heart-wrenching Pedigree Dogs Exposed tonight on BBC America.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • Jon says:

    I have had many conversations with “dog lovers” who will only buy pure breads. Consumers of pure bread dogs really need to look in the mirror. Is having a status symbol that is destined to suffer more important than having a healthy dog that ages well? There’s no love in crappy genetics.

  • Kathleen Cain says:

    I am the proud owner mom of Loba a gorgeous rescue from our local shelter. Her background is unimaginable as most of the discarded due to overpopulation but in four weeks time her healing is amazing and the look of gratitude that shines from her soul through her eyes is warming to say the least. She happens to be a purebred Shepard but with her amazing behavior and personality I wouldn’t care what she looked like. However for the folks who prefer pure breds check your shelter regularly and chances are you will save your dream dog and boycott these horrible money hungry animal exploiters all in one day! P.S. We love and are blessed to have Loba!

  • debbie bermudez says:

    I had bought a toy pomerian and was told he came from a responsable breederneedless to say and thousands of dollars laterhe was diagnosed with hydrocepalaus which was an awful brain disorderhe lived for six years and was very sick all the time. I would never ever buy from a pet store again I was told he came from a responsable breederthere is too many unwanted animals in shelterswho need homes. They need to arrest every breeder and stop this awfullbreeding of animals………. In my opinion there is no such thing as a responsable breeder it should be outlawedPERIOD……..

  • JT says:

    Please don’t overlook all purebreds. Rescued greyhounds are just one breed that doesn’t have inbred health issues and they make marvelous companions. Teeth are often a problem because of the track diet but they don’t get hip dysplasia like some large breeds.

  • Laura says:

    I saw it! It was very good. The BBC in general airs wonderful and important documentaries.

  • Renee says:

    It gives me so much hope to see this subject getting the attention it get deserves on something as well publicized as the Today Show. So many people are under the misconception that kennel club papers or show winners mean healthy dogs. Most kennels AKC UKC depend on the honor system for registering dogs no guarantees that they are even purebred dogs unless each generation has been DNA tested for parentage and there is certainly no health or conformation checks for their dogs. Not to mention that many breed standards do nothing to encourage healthy dogs on the contrary many dogs win ribbons based on incredibly unhealthy characteristics.

  • Shaley says:

    Could i have some more information on this topic

  • Olivia says:

    Heart breaking absolutley heartbreaking

  • Joan says:

    Purebred dogs are riddled with health and behavior problems because to get the looks you have to inbreed. All the “genetic testing” that the AKC claims doesn’t make these terrible health defects go away. Consumers are getting cheated with purebred dogs that have awful health defects even from socalled “responsible” breeders. There was a great expose on this for Frontline Here is the transcript httpwww.pbs.orgwgbhnovatranscripts3103dogs.html Notice the talk about inbreeding by AKC breeder Charlotte McGowan. httpwww.pbs.orgwgbhnovatranscripts3103dogs.html She is an AKC breeder who actively lobbies for and supports puppy mill dog registration by the AKC with this AKC board member httpwww.sourcewatch.orgindex.php?titlePattiStrand

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Mankind’s dominion over animals has plunged into a malevolent despotic tyranny rife with exploitation and hellish irreverence.

  • Tiago says:

    It was about time!